How to Choose an Attorney

Have you ever heard this joke: “What do you call 500 attorneys at the bottom of the ocean? A good start.” Jokes like these reflect what some people generally think about attorneys, the fact is that most people need a lawyer at some point in their life. From personal reasons to business affairs, there are a number of different situations that can arise which require legal guidance and advice from an experienced lawyer. Below, are a few tips that you can use to help choose the best legal representation for your situation so that you don’t end up with an attorney that you wish was “at the bottom of the ocean”.

#1: Find An Attorney You Can Trust

Be aware that your relationship with your attorney is just that, a relationship. It is important that you feel comfortable with the attorney who will be representing your interests. Your comfort level with your lawyer is largely dependent on how much you like the attorney’s personality. You must have someone you feel comfortable speaking to. The most important components of the attorney client relationship are trust and honesty. If you are not comfortable with your attorney, you are unlikely to develop complete trust in their abilities. Because trust and comfort are so important, you should meet the attorney in person. This is the best way to determine if the attorney you are interested in is right for you. As we all know, there are certain subtleties that cannot be picked up over the phone, which makes an in person meeting more suitable to better evaluate the attorney.

#2: Do Some Research

Before you schedule meetings with prospective attorneys, do some research. If the attorney was referred by someone you know, ask the following questions:

  • What did the recommender like about the attorney?
  • How quickly did the attorney return phone calls or e-mails?
  • Did the attorney solve the problem in a satisfactory and timely manner?

Look the attorney up on the internet and review their website. Look to see if they have reviews. What are their former clients saying about them? Also, make sure that the problem that you are consulting the attorney about is listed as one of their main practice areas on their website.

#3: Does the Attorney Listen to You?

When you meet with an attorney to discuss your problem, they should be listening closely to everything you tell them. If the attorney does not seem like they have time to listen to you at the first meeting, it is unlikely that the attorney will listen to you after you retain their service. An attorney is only able to effectively represent you if they fully understand your problem. Without listening to you, full comprehension of your legal problem is impossible.

#4: What’s the Attorney’s Plan & Fees?

Ask the attorneys you meet with about how they would solve your problem. An experienced attorney should be able to tell you how they would handle your problem in order to achieve the quickest and most satisfactory case result. Ask about their fees too. The attorney should be able to tell you exactly what their fees are and when and how you will be billed. An attorney’s fee should not be a surprise to you once their work has already commenced. You should sign a written retainer agreement that is clear and understandable to you. The retainer agreement should contain any particulars about your fee arrangement with the attorney you decide to hire.

Following the guidelines listed above should help you choose an experienced, competent attorney that you trust and who will solve your problem to your satisfaction.

Do you need help resolving a legal dispute? Contact our team of experienced personal injury attorneys on Long Island to schedule a consultation today. We are prepared to help you secure the justice you deserve. Call (631) 400-3342 to get started on your case.